New rumors are surfacing that the iPad mini, rumored to be announced on October 23, will begin being sold on pre-order on October 26 with a November 2 launch date. The rumors aren't exactly based upon anything solid; a few companies have heard whispers of the rumored November 2 launch date.
The date makes sense. It's in-line with previous Apple launches, with the product going on pre-sale pretty quickly right after the announcement and the product actually launching roughly a week after pre-sales open. There is no reason to assume that Apple will break this cycle, even though they have broken the traditional Wednesday press event.
Japanese site Blog of Mobile have published images what they're claiming to be Chinese device maker Huawei's Ascend W1 Windows Phone 8 smartphone. The usual blurry images are included, but it looks to sport a bright polycarbonate body like Nokia's Lumia smartphones, as well as HTC's Windows Phone 8X and 8S.
Huawei's Ascend W1 is rumored to pack a 4-inch WVGA (800x480) display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, VGA front-facing camera, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a 2000mAh battery.
It won't come close to beating most 4- to 5-inch phones, but it will give the entry-level Windows Phone 8 market something to look at when in the market for a WP8-based device.
Google and ASUS' Jelly Bean-powered Nexus 7 tablet has now become the all-time best-selling Android tablet in the UK, just three months after its release. The news comes from mobile retailer Carphone Warehouse. Graham Stapleton, chief commercial officer at Carphone Warehouse says:
It's impressive that this product is our biggest selling Android tablet, and it will be really interesting to see if other manufacturers will follow suit with smaller tablets over the coming months to spice up the Christmas period.
At its low price tag, it has little to no competition and consumers have been loving it. Amazon's Kindle Fire HD will go on sale in the European markets soon which should give Google some competition. Apple's new iPad mini will be announced next week which should also put pressure on Google's 7-inch tablet. Stapleton adds:
Looking at the sales of the Google Nexus tablet, it's clear that there is a massive demand amongst our customer base for smaller tablets. We're seeing a real shift in what customers are using their tablets for, with more and more watching content on the go. It's now common to see people using their tablets during the morning commute or catching up on the day's news in a local coffee shop, and smaller devices make it easier to handle.
Another iFixit teardown is here, this time for Apple's seventh-generation iPod Nano. The teardown notes just how much work Apple's engineers put into the new iPod Nano to make it as thin as it is, with the teardown also noting that the battery has a rating of 0.8Wh, double the rating of the previous-gen Nano.
The teardown notes that the battery, Lightning connector and volume controls are all soldered directly to the logic board itself with the button cable and headphone jack attached, too. The LCD and digitizer glass aren't fused together, which will allow those two components to be replaced individually, if they were to fail.
iFixit found components from Apple, Broadcom (Bluetooth + FM Radio), NXP Semiconductors, Toshiba (NAND flash) and Texas Instruments (touchscreen controller). The teardown team found the seventh-generation iPod Nano very difficult to repair because of the amount of components soldered directly to the board. They've noted that the battery is particularly difficult to replace. Apple's devices are not really repair-friendly, but in order to get these devices increasingly thinner, we're only going to see more of this type of design.
I've got to admit, I wasn't that excited about Microsoft's Surface tablet when we first started hearing about it, but now that it's nearly here and we have found out more on Microsoft's iPad competitor, I'm beginning to get genuinely excited.
But, how does it fare in terms of specifications against the competition? Namely Apple's third-gen iPad and Samsung's pen-toting Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet? AllThingsD have made a great little chart comparing the tablets against each other, which you can see below.
So the new Surface tablet sports a 10.6-inch 1366x760-pixel screen, compared to the iPad's 9.7-inch 2048x1536 "Retina" display, the Surface loses out in resolution, but enjoys its slightly bigger and wider display. Surface only sports 720p front- and rear-facing cameras which is disappointing in this 5-megapixel-plus rear-facing camera world we now live in. Processor-wise, the Surface comes with NVIDIA's T30 SoC which is a quad-core design, compared to the third-gen iPad's dual-core A5X processor and Samsung's 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos chip.
One area that the Surface really shines is in the fact that it offers Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 - the competitors simply can't come close to offering a full productivity suite like Office.
If you don't want your iPhone to meet an untimely demise, you might consider staying out of the kitchen. A new study by warranty provider SquareTrade has found that the majority of iPhones are damaged in the kitchen. A whopping 1 out of 5 iPhones were destroyed in the kitchen, according to those who were surveyed.
The living room was next highest with 18 percent of the surveyed people responding that their iPhone had been damaged in the living room. Following in a close third, the bathroom took out 16 percent of iPhones, which makes me wonder what people were doing in there when their iPhone was damaged.
The rest drop off from there, with bedrooms being the safest for an iPhone. Reportedly 9 percent of the iPhones were dropped into the toilet, which makes up just over half of all the iPhones that were destroyed in the bathroom. I guess the take-away from this is don't text and go to the bathroom.
The new iPod touch has one feature curiously absent. If you've ever seen your old iPod touch screen brightness change when you walked out of a dark room into the sunlight, you'll know the feature I'm talking about. The new iPod touch will not have this capability and will instead force users to do it themselves.
According to Phil Schiller, this is due to the new iPod touch being just too thin to fit the required ambient light sensor. Without the sensor, the device has no way of knowing the relative brightnesses between locations and lacks the ability to adjust the screen brightness to compensate for the difference.
It's not that big of a deal, but the automatic brightness adjustment is a feature that I have come to take for granted on my iPhone. It's great for when I am using it at night and had the brightness all the way down and then wake up in a bright room. Instead of trying to see on a dark screen, it automatically brings the brightness up to a comfortable level.
Is this a deal breaker for most? Probably not. But, I'm sure it will have a buying influence on a few people. Would it affect your purchase decision?
When Apple introduced the new Lightning connector for the iPhone 5, many people were amazed at the cost they were charging for adapters and cables. Most people, myself included, figured that there would be knock-off cables available pretty quickly after launch, but this was before a tear-down was conducted on the cable.
As most now know, Apple included an authenticator chip inside the end of the Lightning cable which is making it harder for third-party cables to be made. Chipworks wasn't going to just let it sit there, so they instead have conducted a tear-down of the new cable's chip and found out some information in regards to its security.
The tear-down revealed that the chip included does seem to feature security in some form or another, though nothing like that found in modern printer cartridges. Chipworks found circuitry that is "consistent with a serial communication chip including some simple security features."
It is actually very interesting that we may have found a chip with (likely) some modest security in this cable. In this case not only related to securing their revenue stream for cables or ensuring reliable and high quality (licensed) peripherals, but in delivering useful product features that are not necessarily in the consumers top of mind. We are planning a full systems analysis on this device to further understand exactly what is going on.
Pricing on the new Microsoft Surface RT tablets is now known as Microsoft has put the tablets up for pre-order and the general consensus is that the pricing is just a wee bit, OK, quite a bit, too high. However, there are arguments for the other side saying that it is just right. My fear is that if this is what a Windows RT device costs, imagine what a regular Windows tablet will cost.
As you can see in the picture above, the basic 32GB Windows RT Surface tablet will set you back a costly $499. Note that that does not include the keyboard cover. For that, you'll have to shell out an additional $100, bringing the total price up to $599. For $699, you can get a 64GB system with the keyboard cover.
Most people have taken to Twitter to express concern over the pricing. "Sadly it looks like I'm out for the new Microsoft Surface, the price is too high for the low end model" and "They've priced it too high if they're just trying to get into the market." What are your thoughts on the pricing? Too high, too low, or just right?
I'm surprised it took this long to see the iPhone 5 blended. Blendtec, which started blending iPhones and other weird objects on video back with the first iPhone, has traditionally been very prompt about attempting total destruction on the latest and greatest Apple product, so having to wait nearly a month has been devastating.
But that's OK because the founder and PR manager have returned from Down Under (yes, they were in Australia) and tossed in not just an iPhone 5, but the Samsung Galaxy S III in an attempt to make an epic face-off between the two flagship devices. Of course, by now, I figure you've already watched the video. If not, go watch it then return here. I'll wait.
Back? Good. As you saw in the video, the Galaxy S III held out a little bit longer than the iPhone 5 did. In fact, the iPhone 5 was destroyed almost from the very beginning whereas the Samsung Galaxy S III survived for a good little while there. So, what can we take away from this? If you happen to be working over a giant, over-powered blender, the Galaxy S III might just survive long enough for you to pull it out.
The day has finally come. Apple has mailed out invites to the press for an event scheduled for October 23. As it stands, October 23 is the currently rumored day that the iPad mini was to be unveiled at an Apple event. The invitation even says right on the page "we've got a little more to show you," which screams iPad mini.
But it also screams Mac mini update as well as an update to the Retina MacBook Pro's little brother. It seems as though Apple is planning to stuff a Retina display into the smaller 13-inch form factor as well as bring the Mac mini up in line with the rest of the Mac line by stuffing an Ivy Bridge and USB 3.0 inside.
Of course, you can expect the usual flow of news from TweakTown as the event unfolds. I'm expecting the new iPad mini, or one of the other devices rumored to be updated, to be coming in many different colors as the invitation features a rainbow-like smattering of color behind the top of the Apple logo.
Of course, only time will tell. All of our questions should be answered next Tuesday.
ASUS teased us last week on their Facebook page about their PadFone 2, but now the day is finally here - introducing, the ASUS PadFone 2. Is it a smartphone? Yes. Can it be a tablet? Yes. It's the best of both worlds, and something revolutionary in an other wise same ol', same ol' smartphone world.
Not to say the rest of the phones on the market are boring, but ASUS are going out on a limb once again with the successor to the PadFone with PadFone 2. Spec wise, we're looking at ASUS' PadFone sporting a 4.7-inch 1280x720 Super IPS+ display, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, up to 64GB of internal storage, backed up by 50GB of ASUS WebStorage.
All of this finds its way into a sleek-looking, 9mm thick device that weighs just 135g. Battery life should be quite good with its 2140mAh battery that ASUS reckon is good for 16 hours of 3G talk-time, and 13 hours of Wi-Fi web browsing.
The pint-sized development platform better known as Raspberry Pi has gained an onboard RAM upgrade without any typical price increase. Purchasers will now have access to 512 MB of RAM instead of the previous 256 MB, which will allow multiple programs to be ran simultaneously or programs with higher memory requirements.
Good Guy Gregg, err, I mean Raspberry Pi Foundation has decided to keep the pricing at the tiny $35 so that as many people as possible can take advantage of the development board. Even Upton said this was one of the most common suggestions for a "Model C" that would cost more money if produced.
"This would be useful for people who want to use the Pi as a general-purpose computer, with multiple large applications running concurrently," he wrote on the official blog.
To take advantage of the new RAM that is shipping on boards, users will have to update the firmware running on the system. In other news, a "Turbo Mode" has been implemented in the firmware which allows the board to run at 1GHz, instead of the standard 700MHz that it comes with from the factory.
Pricing on Apple's upcoming 7.85-inch iPad mini has leaked out from German Media Markt chain, where their internal system has shown us some pricing on various models of the new iPad mini.
With the prices above, Apple are looking to really compete with Google and Amazon at the $300-or-so pricing, which is great. The Apple iPad mini 8GB Wi-Fi only model is priced at 249 Euros, which is around $322. Every step up from there is around $129 extra from 8GB, right up to 64GB for around $710.
There will be 3G-capable models, but surprisingly, Apple aren't offering LTE-based models of the new iPad mini. Considering their iPhone 5 sports LTE compatibility, we should see LTE on these new iPad mini's.
ASUS' PadFone 2 is nearly here, where it shall have its official unveiling on October 16 but until then we have a video of the upcoming smartphone from Bloomberg TV India.
Bloomberg TV India were able to get chummy with ASUS' CEO, Jerry Shen, who allowed them a video tour of the PadFone 2 before its unveiling on October 16. ASUS' PadFone 2 sports a 4.7-inch HD display, and 13-megapixel rear-facing camera.
We should find out more details on the device on Tuesday, but for now, enjoy the video above.
Those who are waiting for the new, rumored iPad mini will have to wait just a bit longer to find out about it. After the rumored October 10 date had come and gone without a whisper from Apple regarding invitations or when an event would be held, new sources are claiming that the launch event will be held October 23.
Interestingly, October 23 is a Tuesday. Apple traditionally hosts its media events and launches on Wednesdays. There isn't any good explanation on why they would do this, though AllThingsD notes that October 23 is just three days before Microsoft will mark its entry into the tablet market with the release of its Surface tablets.
The thought is that they could be hosting it on this day so that they can take some of the press and interest away from Microsoft's new Surface tablets. But, Wednesday would still be before Microsoft starts selling its Surface tablets. Something still seems fishy about the 23rd. Take it with a grain of salt, as with all rumors.
Japanese telco NTT DoCoMo has unveiled a great-looking smartphone from Sharp, the Aquos Phone Zeta SH-02E, the first smartphone to bake the IGZO display. IGZO's display uses indium gallium zinc oxide technology that promises higher translucency compared to normal LCDs.
This technology reduces the demand for backlighting on the screen which should result in reduced battery use. The phone sports a 4.9-inch, 1280x720-pixel display, a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chip, Adreno 320 graphics, NFC and 4G LTE compatibility through NTT DoCoMo's network.
The IGZO display-powered Sharp Aquos Phone Zeta SH-02E comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, which is probably the only downer on an otherwise well-specced smartphone. There's no word on whether this will land anywhere outside of Japan, yet.
LG is working on a device that is rumored to be a Nexus-branded device. As it stands, we currently only have rumored specifications, however, pictures have been plentiful. We now have a plethora of pictures of the device, many of them in focus, well lit, and showing off cool features that we can expect from the device.
Take, for example, the picture above. The back panel of the device shows that it will indeed come with a rear-facing camera--go figure. The rear-camera will also come with an LED flash, as seen by the panel below the camera. There also appears to be a vent or speaker towards the bottom of the device, but on the back panel.
The panel is also branded with "NOT FOR SALE HW REV 1.0 0821" meaning the device could under go revisions before final sale. Rumors place the specifications as a 4.7-inch display with 720p resolution, a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon, 2GB of RAM, and an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera.
Verizon will begin selling the DROID RAZR HD and DROID RAZR MAXX HD on October 18. The new devices continue the design of the popular DROID Android devices that Verizon has been selling for several years now. Of course, they feature updated specifications to keep up with the competitors offerings.
The devices sport a 4.7-inch 1280x720 resolution screen powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor. Wireless is complete with 4G LTE and NFC connectivity, still features saved for higher-end models. The RAZR HD sports 16GB of internal storage and will set you back $199.99 with a new two-year contract.
The RAZR MAXX HD is very similar, but will set you back $299.99 with a new two-year contract. Why the cost difference? Well, the MAXX comeds with a 30 percent larger battery and 32GB of internal storage. Verizon's full press statement is in the full story.
The rumors proved correct in this instance. Today, Samsung has officially outed the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, the little brother of their flagship Galaxy S3 device. I just want to take a moment to complain: why did they have to continue to extend the name of the device? The name was already long enough before they attached "Mini" to it.
Now that that is out of the way, let's move on to what you really want to hear about, the specifications. The device sports the rumored 4-inch screen, which should give it broader appeal among customers. It's powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is in turn interpreted by a dual core 1GHz SoC.
The device's design is extremely similar to its larger older brother. It features the same NFC, S Bean feature, and curvy design elements. The rear-facing camera is a 5 megapixel sensor if auto-focus and flash. It sports 8GB of internal storage and up to a 32GB microSD card. Customers should be able to purchase the device in early November.
Our friends over at Mobile Geeks have found some information about a new phone that Samsung is reportedly working on. Mobile Geeks say (translated) that the device is "traded by some as a Samsung Galaxy Nexus second." I believe this means that the GT-I9260 will end up being branded a Galaxy Nexus device.
The device looks similar to the Galaxy S III, Samsung's current flagship device, but as the same time it has a slightly different appearance and size. It will feature a 4.65-inch OLED display that outputs at 1280x720 resolution. The device will be driven by an unnamed dual-core ARM processor clocked at 1.5 GHz.
The device will ship with the latest Android operating system, also known as Jelly Bean or version 4.1. Internal storage will be in the form of 8 or 16 GB which will be used to store the pictures taken with the 8.1 megapixel front-facing camera and the 2 megapixel rear-facing camera.
Of course it comes with the other array of standards such as microUSB port, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, HSPA, microSD, and headset jack. The release date is targeted to be the fourth quarter of 2012.